CBI chief Alok Verma sacked by PM-led panel, Congress’s Kharge opposes
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CBI chief Alok Verma sacked by PM-led panel, Congress’s Kharge opposes

This is the second meeting of the Selection Committee in the case after the Supreme Court directed it to meet within a week to discuss Alok Verma’s case.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2019 18:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Alok Verma,Supreme Court,CBI
On Wednesday, a day after the Supreme Court’s order, Alok Verma had rejoined office and among the first orders he had issued were the rescinding of transfer orders issued by the interim director M Nageswara Rao.(HT File Photo)

A little over 30 hours after he assumed charge as CBI director, Alok Verma was sacked on the recommendation of a high-powered committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday evening.

Sources said the panel, which also includes Justice AK Sikri and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, decided to remove Verma after examining the report of the Central Vigilance Commission. News agency Press Trust of India said Kharge had opposed the order and gave a dissent note. The Congress leader wanted that Verma should have been given an opportunity to rebut the allegations levelled against him.

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The findings of the CVC report aren’t public but the Supreme Court, which was first given the report, had concluded that it did contain portions that were “not complimentary” to Alok Verma.

In its verdict this week, the top court, however, ended Alok Verma’s 77-day forced leave because the government hadn’t followed the right process. The court had, however, made it clear that Verma could not take any policy decisions and left it to the PM-led selection committee to decide on his future.

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A government source said M Nageshwar Rao, who had been the interim director of the agency during the previous 77 days, would be given charge.

In his 30-odd hours in the CBI’s top job, Alok Verma had gone on an overdrive to revoke transfers of some officials close to him and altered the job description for some others. In all, over two dozen officers had been impacted.

Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana had been engaged in an internecine battle that roiled the agency and almost split it down the middle. Back in October, the government cited this rivalry to send the two officers on leave.

The decision came after more than a two-hour long meeting of the high-powered panel, This was the second meeting of the selection committee in two days and the provoked Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to accuse the government of going after Verma because it didn’t want the agency to probe the Rafale deal.

First Published: Jan 10, 2019 17:07 IST